Port-Louis is a town most people see during the week or on Saturdays.
At those times, it is a town bustling with activity where everyone is in a hurry. People are busy as they are either working or hurrying in and out of shops. Vendors and merchants are shouting everywhere to attract customers and long queues develop in front of various food outlets. Saturdays are no different as even if not many offices are open, shops still are and the horse races at the Champ de Mars attract a lot of people too.
On Sundays however, Port-Louis takes on a completely new face.
No more cars and honking all over the place. Empty pavements, except for a few wandering tourists. No more rush… time ceases to exist and it is then possible to relax and cast a new look on this beautiful town.
This is actually not an outing we would usually choose for a Sunday morning, but that day I guess, we wanted something different.
Needless to say, parking was not a problem!
We stopped the car near the “Place Nelson Mandela”, next to the theater, and started our stroll from there.
The street lamp marking the little roundabout of that place is really beautiful.
Opposite the theater, the pedestrian road of Vieux Conseil street, leading to the very nice restaurant ‘Café du Vieux Conseil’ and to the photography museum, is a road I’ve always liked. Most probably because of the very fact that cars don’t have any access there.
But I think I also like the uneven cobbled road, old lamps and the style of the buildings, in contrast to the surrounding modern buildings. It is a road that has its own soul.
We then walked down towards ‘La Place d’Armes’.
We had no agenda and were in no hurry so we were able to appreciate a whole lot of little details, may it be in the roads or in the buildings.
As it had been quite a while since I last worked in Port-Louis, there were some new buildings I was not quite familiar with.
Before getting to ‘La Place d’Armes’, we turned a little while on ‘La Chaussée’, where we passed the Natural history museum (which was closed on a Sunday morning).
We did see our friends the dodos taking in the sun in the garden.
We stopped a little while at the ‘Jardin de la Companie’. There was an incredibly loud music coming out of speakers which surprised us all.
We then joined the ‘Place d’Armes’ with its incredible Palm trees and walked all the way down and back up again on the other side.
I remember seeing a picture, from the 1800’s, of this exact same street at the photography museum with people in carts and ladies with beautiful dresses. The most amazing thing being that this picture was in 3D. Funny how we sometimes think of our modern technology as amazing… while this technology, even if more bulky, already existed back then.
We, of course, stopped in front of the statue of Mahé de Labourdonnais who founded the city of Port-Louis in 1735.
As well as some of the other statues around. There are actually quite a lot of them! I had never realized they were so many.
Then, we moved back up towards the ‘Hotel du Gouvernement’ where Queen Victoria oversees the place.
On the way back up, we tried to determine what was the weird looking fruit we saw there, but couldn’t come up with much. We asked people around but they didn’t know either…
They kind of looked like giant tamarind pod, which they obviously were not!
And that was the end of our little stroll in the city.
We went back up to the car via the Sir William Newton street, where I worked my first (and only) job in Port-Louis. I had the weird feeling that the street was still the same and yet somewhat different.
What about you, have you been to Port-Louis on a Sunday before? What part of the city did you visit? Was it different from other days?